Attentional State Modulates the Effect of an Irrelevant Stimulus Dimension on Perception
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
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& #x00A9; 2017 American Psychological Association Covariations of acoustic features provide redundancy in rapidly changing soundscapes: Hearing one normally covary. However, it is unknown whether situational demands affect the degree to which exploited a perceptual interdependency between modulation rate and frequency and examined, in 6 degree to which people rely on frequency information to make decisions about modulation rate. Participants listened to amplitude-modulated (AM) sounds with modulation rates (~5 Hz) either decreasing or increasing direction of the rate change. Participants were instructed to ignore carrier frequency, which either decreased or increased (~1,300 Hz) over time. We observed that participants were more likely to perceive the modulation rate as slowing down when frequency decreased and as speeding up when frequency increased (AM-rate change illusion). The magnitude of the illusion increased when uninformative cues (compared with informative cues) prohibited regulation of attention to sounds, and under task. The evidence suggests that the attentional state affects how strongly people rely on featural covariations to make perceptual inferences.